Fatal crash due to drink and drugs

A TEENAGER who died after crashing his car near Barrow Gurney earlier this year had been drinking and had taken drugs, an inquest heard.

Tom Clark, of Flax Bourton, was driving his Proton Satria along the A38 into Bristol when he lost control of it, colliding with concrete bollards outside a disused garage in the early hours of March 1.

The impact caused the car to rollover twice before stopping and the 19-year-old former Backwell School pupil was killed instantly.

The inquest, at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court on Thursday, heard a statement from witness Nicholas Dancy, who lives in Bridgwater Road, who said he saw a car go past his front window at high speed.

He said: “It was really flying and revving to the max on full throttle as it whooshed past.

“A few seconds later I heard a dull boom and then silence.”

Avon and Somerset police accident investigator PC Andrew Hill told the inquest street lights in the area had been switched off just after midnight, in line with North Somerset Council policy, and it was possible Mr Clark was driving too fast to see the road ahead using only the car’s headlights.

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PC Hill said: “There is a very shallow left-hand bend before the entrance to Dial Hill, which he failed to negotiate, and he struck a kerb.

“Despite braking fully, the car was still travelling at a significant speed when it hit the concrete barriers, which were in front of concrete-filled old sewer pipes amounting to about six tons in weight.

“The effect was the same as hitting a solid object and it was at some considerable force, which moved them backwards and caused substantial damage to the car.”

A post mortem report revealed Mr Clark, who lived in Clevedon Road all his life and was training at Weston College to be a bricklayer, died of multiple injuries.

He was twice over the drink-drive limit and had taken mephedrone, a class B drug.

Assistant deputy coroner Terence Moore delivered a verdict of accidental death.

Speaking to the Times in March following the crash, Mr Clark’s parents Alana and Paul described him as ‘honest, sensitive, caring, thoughtful, loving and loyal’ as well as ‘cheeky, bright, beautiful and fun-loving’.

Hundreds packed the church at his funeral, with standing room only, and numerous floral tributes and cards were left at the crash site.